LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A former Oakland County priest will spend more than a year in prison after pleading guilty to sex abuse.

Gary Berthiaume, 79, was sent to trial in July on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC). A month prior, in June, Berthiaume was charged with additional felonies in two new cases.  

The original case against him was initially charged in Sept. 2020

Berthiaume pleaded guilty in November to two counts of second-degree CSC and no contest to one count of gross indecency. 

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Daniel P. O’Brien sentenced the 79-year-old to between 17 months and 15 years on the second-degree CSC counts and between 17 months and five years on the gross indecency count.  

Berthiaume will register as a tier II sex offender and undergo counseling.  

Allegations against Berthiaume came out in the 1970s involving three different victims who were between 13- and 15-years-old at the time of the abuse. Berthiaume was a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wyandotte and later Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington during that timeframe. 

“While we recognize no sentence can ever undo the harm inflicted on survivors of sexual abuse, it remains our priority to secure accountability for those who bravely share their stories.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Of the 11 total defendants who have been charged, five have been convicted.